“To every age its art, to art its freedom” is the all encompassing artistic credo welcoming visitors to the famous golden-leave-globed building.
A gem of Vienna
’s architectural scene, the Secession building is an exhibition space built in 1897 by Joseph Maria Olbrich as an architectural manifesto for the Vienna Secession movement, founded that year by a group of rebel artists: Gustav Klimt
, Koloman Moser, Josef Hoffmann, Joseph Maria Olbrich, Max Kurzweil, and others. One of the most unique details is the gold leaved globe-roof glistening in downtown Vienna’s skyline.
The declared aim of the Secession movement was to reunite the separate arts: architecture, painting, sculpture and music under a common theme, thus creating a break with traditional art institutions at the time. Unlike other movements, there is not one style that unites the work of all artists who were part of the Vienna Secession.
Upon entering the space note Klimt's monumental wall cycle located in the left aisle. An opening in the wall offers a view of Max Klinger's Beethoven statue, indicating the interplay of architecture, painting (Klimt's Beethoven Frieze) and sculpture (Klinger's Beethoven). Today the Beethoven Frieze, the only permanent work on display in the lower level, is considered one of Klimt's key works and one of the high points of Viennese Art Nouveau.
The Secession is the world’s oldest independent gallery devoted entirely to contemporary art with up to 15 exhibitions each year reflecting current developments in Austrian and international art.
Not only is the building visually stunning – it is also the epicenter of the Jugendstil (Austria’s Art Deco) movement with works of Gustav Klimt on permanent display.